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16 March 2019, 03:44 | Glen Norman
New Zealand Mosque Shootings Put Focus on Country's Firearms
The massacre was described as an "act of terror brought to our shores and rained down upon us" by New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern, as the Australian gunman fronted court over the attack.
Nabi is survived by four sons, one daughter and nine grandchildren who he loved "immensely", said Omar. The nationalities of the victims included Indian, Pakistani, Malaysian, Indonesian, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Saudi, Somalian and Turkish, authorities said.
In 2015, GunPolicy.org listed 55 deaths caused by firearms in New Zealand and 59 homicides.
The Pacific Music Awards organisation in New Zealand also expressed its shock and solidarity over the shootings.
He said New Zealand, with a population of just under 5 million, had an estimated 1.5 million firearms.
He said the Fijian people stood with their Pacific family in this time of suffering and sadness, and we condemn all forms of hatred and terror. Health officials said 48 other people were being treated at Christchurch Hospital for gunshot wounds.
Director-General of the Pacific Community (SPC) Colin Tukuitonga also showed his support for New Zealand and those who lost loved ones.
Ansun Zhong, owner of Chong's Chinese restaurant in Christchurch City Central, said the shooting greatly affected people's life in Christchurch. None of the bodies had yet been released due to the investigation, leaving families unable to bury their dead within the 24 hours customary in Islam. The attack was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in New Zealand and the country raised its security threat level to the highest.
"While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now - our gun laws will change", Ardern told reporters on Saturday. Tarrant, obtained a "Category A" gun licence in November 2017 and began purchasing the five weapons used in Friday's attacks the following month, she said.
New Zealand is not at home with such bloodshed.
Tarrant had worked as a personal trainer, according to the Australian Broadcasting Company. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the United States military M16 rifle.
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Pool via Getty Images Brenton Tarrant, charged in relation to the Christchurch massacre, is escorted in the courtroom Saturday in Christchurch, New Zealand.
She did not offer too much detail, but said a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be looked at.
Social media posts suggested the heightened presence was not going unnoticed, with some noting the officers stationed at many mosques who were inquiring after the welfare of religious leaders and worshippers alike.
Before the attack, a man who identified himself as a white man from Australia allegedly posted a 74-page, hate-filled screed online, and then live-streamed the killings on Facebook. Ardern said she had spoken to Trump, who had asked how he could help. "It was his intention to continue his attack", the prime minister said.
At Christchurch hospital, where many members of the Muslim community spent Saturday waiting for news of loved ones, members of the public turned up offering vehicle lifts around town, food parcels and hot drinks, or just a friendly face to talk too.
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